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Seeking upscale dinner with great food in Northern NJ

nsxtasy Apr 21, 2007 09:44 AM

I'm an out-of-town visitor (and frequent Chowhound contributor in my hometown forum) seeking a recommendation for one night, one dinner next month. I'd like to find a restaurant, anywhere in northern Jersey. Price does not matter, although I'd prefer a reasonably nice place (i.e. not hole-in-the-wall). What I am really looking for is excellent food, not just good but GREAT - the kind of place where every bite of every dish is to die for. I generally prefer what some might call contemporary cuisine, such as grilled fish with a nice sauce. NOT a steakhouse and NOT conventional Italian. Last year I ate at Fascino in Montclair, which I liked a lot, but would like to try a place I've never been, rather than a repeat visit. Anywhere in northern NJ is fine; it does not have to be in or near Essex County.

I'm strongly considering Blu in Montclair, Chakra in Paramus, Silver Oak Bistro in Ridgewood, or maybe one of the locations of South City Grill. (I've searched and found mixed reviews on the last three, none on Blu). I would welcome comments on these as well as any additional suggestions. Thanks in advance.

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    RGR RE: nsxtasy Apr 21, 2007 02:28 PM

    Lorena's, in Maplewood, is one of the best restaurants in the state. Chef/owner Humberto Campos' cuisine is superb. We have been there countless times, and I can say with all honesty that there has never been one dish we've had -- and we've been through entire menus -- that wasn't perfection! Humberto's fiancee, Lorena, Dining Room Manager, George, and their small staff provide very gracious and polished service. The small space has 35 seats and truly charming decor. It is a BYO (there's a wine store directly across the street), but they have proper glasses, and George handles all wines with great expertise.

    http://www.restaurantlorena.com

    1. NiKoLe1625 RE: nsxtasy Apr 22, 2007 11:43 AM

      Trattoria Fresco in West Caldwell is an excellent Italian restaurant. It is a somewhat casual, BYOB (Shop Rite liquors is right accross the street). Everything that I have ever eaten there is unbelievable! Honestly, i cannot say enough about this restaurants because its just that good! They are not overly expensive either!

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        bropaul RE: nsxtasy Apr 22, 2007 01:23 PM

        People will begin to think that I am on the payroll, but I cannot recommend Pierre's enough. It's in Morristown. www.pierresbistro.com

        1 Reply
        1. re: bropaul
          NiKoLe1625 RE: bropaul Apr 22, 2007 02:37 PM

          great place!

        2. tommy RE: nsxtasy Apr 22, 2007 03:23 PM

          Earth, in Totowa, is doing some wonderful seasonal and ingredients-driven stuff. http://www.restaurantearth.com (doesn't work with Firefox/Mozilla). Chef Lo Pinto was most recently doing excellent work at Fortunato in Lyndhurst.

          1. nsxtasy RE: nsxtasy Apr 22, 2007 05:40 PM

            These all sound like great suggestions! Thank you, all (and keep 'em comin'!)!

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              Produce Addict RE: nsxtasy Apr 23, 2007 04:07 PM

              How about Marco and Pepe in Jersey City? Really great New American food.

              http://marcoandpepe.com

              1 Reply
              1. re: Produce Addict
                n
                nixienox RE: Produce Addict Apr 24, 2007 11:06 AM

                I second Marco and Pepe. It's a menu of mostly small plates. And it's rather low-key casual. It's great in warmer weather when they open the large doors to the sidewalk.

                See if the menus at these Hoboken restaurants sound good-- http://www.amandasrestaurant.com/menu... and http://mercygrill.com/menu.html (I haven't been to Mercy, yet)

              2. shutterbabe RE: nsxtasy Apr 25, 2007 02:17 PM

                I recommend CulinAriane in Montclair. Best food and ambience I've had so far in northern nj. http://manoavino.typepad.com/mano_a_v...

                Light Horse Tavern in Jersey City. - Excellent Food, ambience and superb service.
                http://lighthorsetavern.com/

                1. nsxtasy RE: nsxtasy May 23, 2007 10:48 AM

                  My visit took place this past weekend. It turned out that I was meeting someone in the Pompton Lakes area, so I went to Rosemary and Sage in Riverdale. It was absolutely wonderful, exactly what I was looking for. For anyone looking for this type of restaurant near Pompton Lakes, Wayne, and the rest of Passaic County, I highly recommend it. I've reported on my dinner at Rosemary and Sage in a bit more detail in this topic, where I first heard about it: www.chowhound.com/topics/250938

                  Rosemary and Sage
                  26 Hamburg Turnpike
                  Riverdale NJ 07457
                  973-616-0606
                  www.rosemaryandsage.com

                  Thanks again to everyone for all the recommendations. I visit the area from time to time and I will probably get a chance to try some of the other recommended places in the future.

                  1. b
                    bropaul RE: nsxtasy May 23, 2007 03:25 PM

                    Glad to hear you had a good experience. I've only been to Rosemary & Sage once, but really enjoyed it.

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